K-Swiss has become the latest retailer to invest in the rapidly expanding esports industry after releasing the “world’s first esports performance shoe”.
The footwear brand launched the $125 (£100) “One Tap” shoe last week, developed in collaboration with professional esports team Immortal Gaming Club (IGC) and designed specifically to enhance performance.
Its limited-edition sneaker is made from lightweight flexible material and elasticated for a tight fit, but can also be worn as slippers thanks to a fold down heel “for the long hours during a match or practice”.
K-Swiss’ attempt to break into the esports market with its new range, adorned in the colours and emblems of IGC’s Counter Strike: Global Offensive team, has reportedly proven successful seeing over half of the stock sold within the first hour.
Its president Barney Waters told CNBC: “Gaming content on Twitch has more viewers than HBO, Netflix, Hulu and ESPN combined, and the viewership of some of the big esports tournaments are double the viewing audience of the NBA Finals. There is a massive reach, and it’s among young men, the hardest to reach demographic.”
K-Swiss is not the only brand to recognise the potential in esports, which is predicted to generate more the $1 billion in revenue this year.
Nike announced earlier this year that it was sponsoring Brazillian esports team Furia, providing them with new branded uniforms, as well as a sponsorship deal with TJ Sports which will see it cloth its League of Legends Pro League team exclusively until 2022.